By Blythe Moorcroft, Quilt Staff
DATELINE: VASSAR AVENUE
A man in Canoga Park remains puzzled and confused after finding a cryptic note taped to the doorbell button at his front door last week.
“Well, I came home from work and there it was, just hanging there,” says Téodor Pasternak, an assembler with a local pool filter manufacturer. “I still don’t know what to make of it.”
The inscrutable note, typed in Arial Narrow 12 pt. and photocopied on standard 20-lb weight copy paper, reads in part: “Dear Neighbors: We just moved in to the house on the corner. My father is visiting and will be turning 60 on Friday, so we are having some friends & family over to celebrate his birthday. If at some point we get too loud, please feel free to come over and let us know or give me a call. Or just drop by and introduce yourself and have some cake.”
The incomprehensible message concludes with a friendly closing, a hand-written signature in blue ink, a name and a phone number.
Says Pasternak “I mean, I understand all those words. The phrasing, the entire sentences make sense. But when you put it all together, it loses all meaning. I’m at a complete loss. What is this person trying to say?”
|Doorbell Cipher: The mysterious note was confiscated by the LAPD who were "concerned" but|
had no answers. It is currently being studied by Pierce College Winnetka's Cryptography Dept.
Pasternak noticed similar pieces of paper on his neighbors’ doors, and was curious if they had any answers but had no means of communicating with them. “This is LA — this is Canoga Park,” he explained. “You don’t just go and talk to your next-door neighbor!”
As for whatever occurrence was planned for Friday night, Pasternak says he guesses it didn’t happen.
“I heard some music for a little while, but it wasn’t loud at all — I mean, I didn't even have to close my windows — and it stopped at a reasonable hour. I did hear people quietly singing a song, and at the end, there was a little bit of cheering for a couple of seconds, but that part was over almost immediately,” says the baffled Pasternak. “At one point [that night] I went out to the store, and while there were a few extra cars on the street, no one was blocking my driveway. So I guess whatever these people had intended to do was canceled.
“I mean, there can be no other possible explanation.”